Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.
Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.
By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.
As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.
But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.
The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...
Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.
And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.
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Ireland's Hughes win Longines Speed Stakesgulfnews.com, January 30th
Dubai: In the closing event of the second day, Ireland's Marion Hughes gained the win over the UAE's Abdullah Mohammed Al Marri and Maitha Mohammed Al Hajri in the Longines Speed Stakes. Hughes, an Olympic show jumper and a regular at the Dubai ...Read more
FEI World Cup™, ZurichWorld Tempus (press release), January 26th
During single Swiss leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ series last Sunday, one of the highlights of this year's Mercedes-Benz CSI Zürich, the best pair was Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) on Carlo. Bertram Allen (IRL) on Molly Malone V finished second while ...Read more
LONGINES FEI WORLD CUP JUMPING 2014/2015 - Round 10, ZurichAround the Rings (subscription), January 26th
Spain's Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo returned to top form today to win the tenth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series at Zurich in Switzerland. The grey gelding had not been showing his usual sparkle ...Read more
Monday Morning Find: Longines Gilt Dial Tre Tacche CalatravaBusinessweek, January 26th
This simple black Longines Calatrava from the 1940s might look unassuming, and that's exactly what makes it so elegant. When you start looking at watches from the 1940s, there are a few big things you need to keep in mind. Back then, watches were...Read more
SCMP invites you to attend LONGINES HONG KONG MASTERS 2015South China Morning Post (subscription), January 25th
SCMP invites you to attend the LONGINES HONG KONG MASTERS, one of the most prestigious social events in town and a display of equestrian skill you really won't want to miss. Watch as the world's 25 best riders and their horses compete once again in ...Read more
Just A Way, world's best racehorseWorld Tempus, January 23rd
Longines, Official Partner and Official Watch of IFHA, and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) rewarded the performance of the greatest racehorses of 2014 on 20 January 2015 in London, at the hotel Claridge's. The Longines...Read more
Just A Way Named 2014 Longines World's Best RacehorseHorse Racing Nation, January 20th
2014 will be remembered as the year when the LONGINES World's Best Racehorse was trained in Japan for the first time. Following on from the high ranking duo of ORFEVRE (JPN) and crack sprinter LORD KANALOA (JPN) in 2013, Japan secured ...Read more
Elegance: Why racing is the right fit for sponsorship giant LonginesThoroughbred Racing Commentary, January 19th
They are all ambassadors for the high-end Swiss watchmaker Longines, currently the most visible brand name in world horseracing, and under the terms of their contracts they have to be available to show off the company's latest products here, there, and ...Read more